Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the namesake

I had a chance to read The Namesake, a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, while I was vacationing for a few days in California. What a great book! The novel explores issues of ethnic identity in our so-called post-racial world. It also has some very tender and funny scenes, and the lead character, Gogol, unexpectedly turns out to be a bit of a lady's man. The novel centers around an Indian family that emigrates to the U.S. Told largely through the eyes of the second-generation Gogol, it asks the question, "can you ever go home again"?, yet does so in such a charming way, with seemingly fresh insight into the immigrant experience in today's world, that it works.

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